SMI Releases Management Guidelines for Vendor Access

Scituate, MA (September 18, 2006):  The Strategic Marketplace Initiative (SMI) has released their Management Guidelines for Vendor Access at the AHRMM 44th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. Industry representatives and provider staff spend unnecessary time and expense trying to manage inconsistent and unpredictable vendor access programs." said Carl Manley, Vice President of Sentara Health Care and Chairman of the SMI Board of Directors. The SMI members recognized that the industry could benefit from a standard set of guidelines to assist supply chain participants in the management and implementation of vendor access practices and policies. 

In 2005, an SMI team representing both providers and vendors was assembled to seek collaborative answers to the issue. Based on best practice research, multidisciplinary input, and feedback from industry groups, the SMI guidelines provide both concrete recommendations and a checklist tool that will be useful to supply chain professionals who are developing or revising policies for their organization. The guideline's recommendations include:

  • Appointing a vendor access program administrator
  • Establishing two classes of vendor representatives
  • Requiring documentation of vendor qualifications
  • Communicating conflict of interest potentials
  • Establishing OR vendor access policies

Pam Scagliarini, Vice President at Yale New-Haven Health System, and SMI Team Co-Leader, said the Team's early research showed that "The healthcare industry representative, by virtue of their training, education, knowledge, and expertise, frequently serves as a valuable resource to industry professionals at multiple provider organizations. Representatives foster communication with the sharing of product information while providing training and education for many healthcare professionals." said Scagliarini.

Bill Donato, Vice President of Ethicon Inc., another SMI Team Co-Leader, explained SMI members have already begun to utilize the guidelines to support the development or update of their organization's guidelines.

The written guidelines were distributed on compact disk to attendees of an AHRMM Conference educational session presented by SMI leaders. The document is also now available for download at the SMI web